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A Yoga Sequence to Develop Inner Strength

Experience a deep yogic flow to access and strengthen core muscles, while setting intentions to lift yourself up from the inside out.

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Sometimes in life our minds may dwell on experiences that leave us feeling inadequate or insufficient, and lacking a sense of personal power. We too often deplete our energy by thinking that who we are is dependent on what others think about us, which can leave us completely unsure of how to approach self-awareness and self-knowledge.

This sequence is about tapping into the core of who you are so you can navigate this life with a stronger sense of self. Core work is about so much more than strong abdominal muscles. It’s the ability to identify and reference all your moments from your center even as you change and evolve. Accessing this kind of power is integral to living and communicating from a place abundant with integrity. The movements in this sequence will help to strengthen your center so you can begin to live from it—lift yourself up, and ultimately those around you. It can be used as an ongoing practice, incorporated into your regular routine, or can be called upon when you feel you need to speak up or ask your inner voice for guidance.

Start sitting on heels and round spine 3 to 5 times, activating your connection with the breath. 

Repeat the sequence above 3 to 5 times on each side, using the inhale to extend the leg, and the exhale to draw the knee in towards the navel. Press firmly into the shin and hand on the ground.

Repeat the above movement 3 to 6 times on each side, making sure the thumb and index fingers are firmly rooted into the ground. If needed, take the modification with the knee on the ground as you work to find strength and stability.

Repeat sequence above once on each side. If you don’t have blocks, this sequence can be done with tented fingers. Endeavor to keep the hips stable throughout as you move with the breath.

This breath retention work, or the engagement of Uddiyana Bandha, should be done with care. Do not hold the breath until you get light-headed. If you are newer to breath retention, start small and consult the teacher you work with. If you have any health issues that seem contradictory, you can do the exercise without retaining the breath out.

In the forearm challenge, begin with 30 seconds in Forearm Plank, and work your way up to a 90-second hold. In Side Plank hold for 15 seconds, working up to a 30-second hold.

Repeat once on each side.

Repeat the flow outlined above once on each side. When you are in the twisted abdominal crunches, repeat 5 to 15 times on each side, keeping the elbows still to activate the core more efficiently.

Photos by Hailey Wist; Outfitted by NeshNYC and Dear Kates.

 

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If you have an umbilical hernia, modify your practice by putting less stress on your abdomen. Reduce the intensity and duration of the practice and avoid straining or lifting a lot of weight, which can increase intra-abdominal pressure and worsen the hernia. 
Always make sure to consult your doctor before returning to or beginning a yoga practice with any kind of hernia, or physical health concerns. 🙏🏽
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